C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Shot in the arm for BJP
Ex-Sr Dy Mayor and Cong councillor Kashmiri Devi joins saffron party
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
The BJP today got a shot in the arm when former Senior Deputy Mayor and Congress councillor Rana Kashmiri Devi joined the BJP.
Rana Kashmiri Devi represents Ward No. 14, comprising Sector 45 and Burail village. The news came as a surprise for Congress leaders during the MC meeting.

During the meeting, while the National Anthem was being sung, Rana Kashmiri Devi silently entered the House and instead of sitting with the Congress councillors, she went towards the BJP-SAD benches where Leader of the Opposition Arun Sood of the BJP welcomed her.

Kashmiri Devi’s son Vijay Rana, a former Congress councillor, also joined the BJP. Kashmiri Devi said it is a homecoming for her.

Sources said two more Congress councillors, including a woman, who represent villages and colonies, were likely to join the BJP in the coming days.

Meanwhile, Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee (CTCC) president BB Behl said they had suspended Kashmiri Devi and Vijay Rana from the primary membership of the Congress.

With the joining of Kashmiri Devi, the BJP-SAD alliance now has 14 councillors in the House. Recently, two Congress councillors, Raj Bala Malik and Sat Prakash Aggarwal, had also joined the BJP. The Congress is now left with only nine councillors.

Though the BJP-SAD alliance also lost a councillor with the death of Malkiat Singh, at present its combined voting strength in the House is 15, including the vote of city MP Kirron Kher, who is an ex officio member. A candidate needs 18 votes to win the mayoral elections.

Next year, the Mayor’s post is reserved for a woman candidate. In the mayoral poll held at the beginning of this year, which was won by the Congress, nominated councillors, who hold the key, had largely voted for it. However, things have changed after the Lok Sabha election results. With a BJP government at the Centre and a BJP MP, Kirron Kher, having been elected from the city, a majority of the nominated councillors this time are likely to vote for the BJP-SAD candidate for the Mayor’s post.

Mayoral poll: It’s advantage BJP-SAD

With Rana Kashmiri Devi joining the BJP, the party has a bright chance of winning the mayoral poll. The combined voting strength of the BJP-SAD alliance in the MC House is 15, including the vote of city MP Kirron Kher, who is an ex officio member. A candidate needs 18 votes to win the mayoral elections. The Congress is now left with only nine councillors.



Mayoral elections likely to be held on December 22 or 23
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
The UT Administration is likely to hold the mayoral poll on December 22 or 23 instead of January 1.
As the Deputy Commissioner’s letter in which he had sought the views of the House on deciding the date for the mayoral poll was not placed before the House for discussion, sources said the UT Administration would now decide on the issue on its own.

A senior UT official said the Administration was now likely to hold the elections on December 22 or 23. The final date would be announced by the Deputy Commissioner’s office, the official said.

Recently, local MP Kirron Kher had written to the UT Home Secretary to hold the mayoral elections before January 1. The Home Secretary had marked the letter to UT DC Mohammad Shayin.

In his letter to the MC, the DC had sought the views of the House on whether the mayoral elections could be held in December or not.

MP Kirron Kher, in her letter to the UT Administration, had stated that during the first five years after the MC was formed, the mayoral elections were held on December 23. Most of the councillors had requested that the elections should be held in December because those contesting for the posts of Mayor, Senior Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayor had to campaign for at least a week ahead of the elections, during which residents celebrated Christmas and New Year’s Eve. The elections should be held in December, Kirron had stated.

City Mayor Harphool Kalyan had rejected the DC’s letter. MC Commissioner Vivek Partap Singh said they would write to the DC’s office that as the Mayor rejected the letter, it was not placed before the MC House. The final date would now be decided by the DC’s office, he said.

Mayor Harphool Kalyan said according to the MC Act, the Mayor’s tenure was for one year and no elections could take place before the completion of the present Mayor’s tenure, which would end on December 31. 



ruckus outside disco
5 women among 7 arrested 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
Five women and two men were arrested by the Chandigarh Police for allegedly creating a ruckus outside a discotheque, Crystal, in Sector 26 late last night.
ASP (East) Parvinder Singh said the police control room received a call that two groups of men and women were fighting with each other outside the discotheque. “A police team reached the spot and rounded them up,” ASP Parvinder Singh said.

The incident was reported at around 12.30 am. A medical examination of the youngsters was conducted at Government Multi-Specialty Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16, which confirmed that they were drunk.

Those arrested have been identified as Baljit Kaur, Daljit Kaur, Sarabjit Kaur, Sophia, Navi Brar, Harjot Singh and Preet.

Police sources said while revealing their address, six of the seven accused gave a wrong address.

A case in connection with the incident was registered at the Sector 26 police station. The accused were produced in the court, which remanded them in 14-day judicial custody.

Two women were arrested on October 30

On October 30, two women were arrested for creating a ruckus outside a night club in Sector 26 allegedly in an inebriated condition. The women also broke the windowpanes of two cars, including that of local Congress president BB Bahl.

Not her first arrest

One of the accused, Navi Brar, was also arrested earlier in connection with the incident outside the night club on October 30.



MC House meet a noisy affair
Tribune News Service

(Above) Councillors argue while two Congress councillors sit on a dharna during the MC House meeting in Chandigarh on Friday; and Congress councillors Subhash Chawla and Pardeep Chhabra (centre) share a point with BJP councillor Arun Sood (below) during the meeting. Tribune photos: Parvesh Chauhan

Chandigarh, November 28
High drama was witnessed during the MC House meeting today.
After observing a two-minute silence over the demise of senior BJP leader Jai Ram Joshi, BJP leaders started thumping their tables to welcome Congress councillor Rana Kashmiri Devi into the party fold.

While Congress councillors accused the BJP of disrespecting the demise of BJP leader Jai Ram Joshi by thumping the tables, the latter accused the Congress for using the deceased leader’s name for their ‘dirty’ politics.

Congress councillors Satish Kainth and Darshan Garg even sat on a dharna demanding an apology from the BJP councillors. With the Congress and BJP taking a dig at each other, the nominated councillors even threatened to boycott the House proceedings.

Following this, the House was adjourned on three occasions. This hampered the proceedings for nearly two hours and they finally resumed at 1 pm.

Civic body forms panel to frame work code

With the MC following the PWD manual for executing work under the plan and non-Plan head, the House today decided to form a committee to study different work codes of PWD and Punjab, besides make suggestions on forming the MC’s own work code.

At present, officials inform councillors and the MC House regarding the execution of work under the Plan head but under the non-Plan head, they spend grants as per the powers given to them under the PWD manual.

MC Commissioner Vivek Partap Singh said, “Until the new work code is implemented, the MC officials will also inform the MC councillors concerned regarding the work executed under the non-Plan heads as well.” Allegations were raised on the MC officials in various MC House meetings that there was lack of transparency in the execution of works under the non-Plan head.

Committee constituted to auction outdated material

The MC has formed a committee comprising six officials and two councillors to check the estimates prepared by the MC officials to hold an auction of outdated material worth Rs 17 lakh of the Public Health Department. The committee will submit its report following which the MC will decide whether to hold the auction or not.



Differences in BJP over DC ‘sahab’
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
Differences in the BJP over the Deputy Commissioner (DC) came to the fore in the MC House meeting today.
During a discussion over the DC’s letter — wherein DC Mohammad Shayin had sought the MC House’s view on holding the Mayoral elections in December or January 1 — BJP’s leader of Opposition Arun Sood said, “DC ‘sahab’ had written a letter to seek views from the MC House but the Mayor did not place it before the house.”

Asking Sood to refrain from using words such as DC ‘sahab’, another BJP councillor Satinder Singh, who had filed a complaint against the DC before the UT Adviser, said, “Don’t use words such as ‘sahab’ for this DC”.

“DC ne koi sahab kehlane layak kaam hi nhi kiya (he has not done anything to be called sir),” said Singh.

Thereafter, Sood only addressed Shayin as the Deputy Commissioner.

Recently, BJP councillor Satinder Singh had submitted a complaint to the Prime Minister, Union Home Minister, UT Adviser and the CBI wherein he had alleged deteriorating administration by the present DC in the Estate Office causing harassment to the public.

This is not the lone issue wherein differences between the BJP leaders have come to the fore. Be it functioning of the UT Administrator, UT officials or formation of a metropolitan council, BJP leaders seem to be poles apart.

While BJP MP Kirron Kher is all praise for UT officials, BJP leaders, including BJP president Sanjay Tandon complained to the Union Home Minister over the ‘dictatorial attitude’ of UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil and other officials.

Similarly, Kirron Kher is also opposing formation of a metropolitan council in the city even as Tandon and other leaders are in favour of the same. 



Panjab varsity hostel inmate complains of eve-teasing

Chandigarh, November 28
A resident of PU hostel has submitted a complaint of eve-teasing to the university’s security office this evening.
The girl stated that around 8 pm when she was crossing the road near SBI ATM on the campus, a car bearing registration number HR31D0700 passed by and the men sitting inside it passed lewd comments leaving her embarrassed and shattered.

The security office contacted the police and the car was impounded from the Student Centre. PU officials said the car appeared to be owned by an outsider. — TNS



UT splurging on MP’s residence: Youth Cong
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
Members of Chandigarh Youth Congress today staged a protest outside local MP Kirron Kher’s official residence in Sector 7 expressing their displeasure over allotment and renovation of the residence.
Harmail Kesri, vice-president of the Congress youth wing, said the UT Administration was spending extravagantly on the MP’s residence.

The protesters also questioned the allotment of the house to the MP, claiming that she hardly stayed in the city.

Due to the protest, the police were deployed outside the MP’s residence. The police rounded up the protesters and let them off later.



3-day Chandigarh Carnival off to a colourful start
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
The three-day Chandigarh Carnival with ‘Clean and Green Chandigarh’ as its theme kicked off at the Leisure Valley here today.
UT Adviser KK Sharma took a round of the carnival village and declared the carnival open this afternoon. A host of events and exhibits are on display at the annual event of the Chandigarh Administration, held in the month of November for promotion of tourism, culture and festivity.

The carnival village has stalls of Sangeet Natak Akademi, Lalit Kala Akademi, Sahitya Akademi, Le Corbusier Centre, Chandigarh Tourism, Social Welfare, Home Science College and Arts College.

Artistes from North Zonal Cultural Committee (NZCC) presented folk performances today. Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation (CITCO) made food arrangement for visitors.

Colourful floats prepared by students of Chandigarh Arts College, various schools and colleges, Rock Garden staff and members of the environment society were also flagged off. A vintage car exhibition and a photography exhibition remained added attractions at the carnival village.

Popular Punjabi singers Rimz J, Sarthi K, Nishawn Bhullar and Bittu Bajwa regaled the visitors with their performances. Besides, slum children and local budding artistes enthralled the audience throughout the day.

A street play on the theme “Cleanliness & Environment” was well-received.

In the evening, Punjabi film actor and comedian Rana Ranbir’s stand-up performance left the audience in splits.



Man’s death
Injury marks deepen mystery

Panchkula, November 28
Mystery behind the death of 30-year-old Ram Sheesh deepened today. Injury marks were found on the body during the post mortem.
Ram Sheesh was found dead outside his flat in Sector 26, on Thursday.

Dr Sunil Gambhir, forensic expert, General Hospital, Sector 6, said, “Injury marks were found on the forehead. We have sent the viscera to the Central Forensic Science Laboratory to ascertain whether he was given any sedatives.”

ACP Jagtar Singh said, “A shopkeeper had seen him drinking with some men. And then afterwards he saw them taking Ram in an auto rickshaw. Later he was found dead.”

The police said the persons who accompanied him yesterday were rounded up.—TNS



Followers desert Rampal

Chandigarh, November 28
The controversial sect head Rampal’s followers have deserted him within a week of his arrest.
Rampal, who was surrounded by scores of followers a few weeks ago, today reached the High Court in a prison van, accompanied by only two vehicles of the Haryana Police.

Unlike other hearings, none of his followers turned up at the high court where he was produced for a hearing in a case. The high security, under which he was produced during the last hearing, was missing today. A large crowd had waited outside the court to have a glimpse of the self-styled godman when he was brought here last time. However, advocates and visitors today were not interested in seeing Rampal, who had kept the Haryana and Chandigarh Police on its toes for around a month.

Rampal was taken inside the court from the Gate No II. The police had made security arrangements outside the court complex. —TNS



Riot-hit families seek rehabilitation 
Bipin Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
After having migrated to Chandigarh from different states after their business establishments and houses were ruined, 98 victim families of 1984 anti-Sikh riots are still struggling for rehabilitation. They blamed the Chandigarh Administration for rejecting their applications, sought from the affected Sikh families, by giving them just a week’s time to stake their claims.

A delegation of the affected families today raised their grievances before Dr Ajaib Singh, Member, National Commission for Minorities.

Dr. Singh was in the city to review the schemes started for minority communities implemented by the UT Administration under the Prime Minister’s New 15 Point Programme.

The delegation members lamented that the UT Administration had called the applications in an advertisement published on October 23, 2009 giving them a week’s time. They said their applications reached late and the administration rejected them. The administration neither entertained their late applications nor gave them sufficient time to resubmit the applications. Dr Singh asked the ADC to review their decision and give sufficient time to the victims for submitting their applications. Dr Singh said the number of ‘madarsas’ has gone to 35 against four registered in Chandigarh. “I have also asked the authorities to prepare a report on all the ‘madarsas’ in Chandigarh so that they could be covered under the central schemes.”



DC seeks details on travel agents sans licence

Mohali, November 28
Deputy Commissioner Tejinder Pal Singh Sidhu has sought details from the SSP regarding travel agents, consultants and ticketing agents who have failed to apply for registration under the law.

The Deputy Commissioner said today that it had been noticed that certain travel agents, consultants and ticketing agents were operating in the district without registration or licence. This was in contravention of the Punjab Travel Professional Regulation Act. Such persons were often found to be cheating people. The Deputy Commissioner has written to SSP Inder Mohan Singh seeking details of travel agents, consultants and ticketing agents who had not applied for registration under the act, which was mandatory. All such agents are required to apply for registration at the office concerned in the District Administrative Complex. He said strict action would be taken against the offenders for violating the law. — OC



Command Hospital carries out first multi-organ transplant harvest
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
The Western Command Hospital, Chandimandir, has carried out its first-ever successful multi-organ transplant harvest from a brain dead donor, an Army jawan, whose next of kin agreed to donate his organs. This has made the hospital the first medical institute in the northern India to achieve this expertise and it will gave a lease of life to at least three terminally ill patients.

The procedure was carried out by a multidisciplinary team of surgeons and anaesthesiologists led by Col AK Sharma, chief of gastrointestinal surgery at the Command Hospital. This expertise also reduces the agony of terminally ill patients awaiting the extremely scarce commodity of transplantable organs.

Naik Narender Singh, serving with the Defence Security Corps, was admitted to the hospital’s ICU in deep coma and declared brain dead after a series of tests by the interventionist and neurophysician. After obtaining consent from relatives, a marathon surgery was carried out whereby liver, kidneys and cornea were harvested.

The liver and kidneys were flown the same evening by a special Air Force aircraft to Army Research and Referral Hospital, New Delhi, for the benefit of patients with end stage liver and kidney disease. The Commandant, Command Hospital, Western Command, complimented the transplant team for its professional ethics and highly motivated approach in providing the apex quality of patient care for its clientele.



Pay property tax, Mohali residents told
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 28
Commissioner of the Mohali Municipal Corporation Uma Shankar Gupta has appealed to all those who had not paid their property tax to do the same so that the civic body was not compelled to initiate action to seal or attach the property of any resident.

The commissioner said the government had given time to the residents to pay their property tax for 2013-14 without any penalty till September 30. Later, residents deposited the property tax with 20 per cent penalty and interest at the rate of 18 per cent.

Properties of all persons who failed to pay their tax would be sealed or attached, said Gupta.



Arjun Goyal wins Hindi declamation contest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
The Late Shri Gobind Gakkhar Smriti Trust organised a Hindi declamation contest and “Hasya Kavita Pratiyogita” at Arya Samaj, Sector 7B, Chandigarh. Students from Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh and Haryana participated in these competitions.

In “Hasya Kavita Pratiyogita”, Tanisha, Vikas and Madhav bagged the first, second and third prizes, respectively, while Yashesh and Kumar Sambhav got consolation prizes. Kiranjit and Tanishka got trophies for their best performance.

In Hindi declamation contest, Arjun Goyal, Jainiphar and Vanshika got the first, second and third positions, respectively, while Diksha and Simranjot received consolation prizes. Garima and Vanshika got trophies.



PSEB employee suspended 
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 28
The Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) has suspended an employee of its Accounts Department in connection with a case of alleged embezzlement of lakhs of rupees.
According to an order of the Secretary of the PSEB, GS Batth, a department probe had shown the alleged link of Savinder Kaur, senior assistant in the Accounts Department, in the matter.

She is the wife of board employee Tarun Kumar, who was posted in the board’s salary branch and was arrested earlier on a charge of embezzlement.

Reports said the board had also written to the Mohali SSP as well as the Income Tax Department to probe the role and bank accounts of Savinder Kaur and Tarun Kumar’s sister, Puja Rani.

According to reports, the checking of the PSEB accounts records has shown alleged embezzlement of over Rs 48 lakh so far.



DC invites e-complaints, suggestions
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 28
Panchkula Deputy Commissioner Vivek Atray today made an email ID-dcpanchkula@yahoo.com. Residents of the district can send their grievances and advices to the DC on the email ID.

Atray said he will check the grievances and advices of his mail personally. He said it is the responsibility of the administration to create transparency and help the residents. He appealed the residents to avail the facility to connect with the DC. 



Surjit Patar’s contribution lauded 
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 28
The contribution of well known writer Surjit Patar to Punjabi literature was lauded at a function organised by the Punjab School Education Board here today. Patar interacted with employees of the board and the Education Department. A documentary was shown on the works of Surjit Patar. 



Call off strike in PU: DSW
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
Coming down heavily on 
various student parties protesting against the proposed 5 per cent fee hike in the new academic year, Dean Students Welfare Navdeep Goyal has directed the students to call off the strike.

In a statement issued today, Goyal said, The proposal came up during a committee meeting on November 25, which was chaired by Dean University Instructions where student council president and president of the Panjab University Teachers' Association were also present. The committee proposed to revise the fee structure for the session 2015-16. The proposal will be raised with the Board of Finance (BoF), Syndicate and Senate. The BOF had asked for a periodic revision in fee structure in 2013.”

“No fee was raised in the session 2013-14. This year, the fee has been increased at the rate of 5 per cent in all courses. The proposed fee hike for the session 2015-16 will be a maximum of 5 per cent, subject to a minimum increase of Rs 500 per annum and maximum of Rs 1,500,” he added.

“It is emphasised that the upper limit in fee increase stands reduced from Rs 10,000 per annum in 2014-15 to Rs 1,500 per annum in 2015-16. It is proposed that the additional income that could accrue from the proposed enhanced fee will be entirely spent on student programmes, including enhanced allocation for economically weaker sections. The students have been requested to refrain from holding protests,” said Goyal.

Students of various organisations have been staging dharna outside the PU VC’s office for the past three days.

‘Only 5% hike’

No fee was raised in the session 2013-14. In the current academic year, the fee has been increased at the rate of 5 per cent in all courses. The proposed fee hike for the session 2015-16 will be a maximum of 5 per cent, subject to a minimum increase of Rs 500 per annum and maximum of Rs 1,500.
— Navdeep Goyal, dean students welfare



From Schools
Derek’s challenge
Students present an item during the annual function at St Anne's Convent School, Sector 32, Chandigarh, on Friday.
in sync: Students present an item during the annual function at St Anne's Convent School, Sector 32, Chandigarh, on Friday. Tribune photo: Parvesh Chauhan

Students of The British School, Sector 8, Panchkula, on Friday participated in Derek’s Challenge organised by Derek O’Brien and Associates. It was a quiz competition for two different categories of students. Derek’s Yippee Challenge was a nationwide contest for students of Classes V to VII. There were four teams for each show. Each team comprised three members, one each from class. Derek’s Faster Smarter Better Challenge was for students of Classes VIII to X. The winning teams qualify for the inter-school round of this challenge on December 5.

‘Quest’ 2014-15

‘Quest’ 2014-15 was organised at DAV Senior Public School, Surajpur, with an aim to quiver the scientific temperaments in the young inquisitive minds and explore the hidden potentialities. Science and maths quiz had as many as 80 participants from 17 schools from the region. — TNS



sports meet
St Joseph’s House adjudged overall winner 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
The sports meet, “Sportivo Concorrenza”, of Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School was held on the school premises here today.
Brig MG Sekaran, who was the chief guest, declared the sports meet open, while school principal Sister Nisha administered the oath of fair play to the students.

The students of all four houses participated in the march past and put a spirited performance in the athletic events.

A colourful Rajasthani dance was the other highlight of the event.

The special highlight was the race organised for Class IV employees.

The achievers, who had excelled at the national and international level in various events, were felicitated amidst a loud cheer.

St Joseph’s House was adjudged the overall winner, while St Clare stood second.



1,000 take part in sports meet

Panchkula, November 28
The annual sports day of Hansraj Public School, Sector 6, here, was celebrated with zeal and enthusiasm. Nearly The event opened with a march past by the contingents of the four houses of the school.

OP Singh, Commissioner of Police, Ambala-Panchkula, was the chief guest, while RJ Khanderao, Regional Officer, CBSE, Panchkula, and Mamta Sauda, DSP, Haryana Police, were the guests of honour.

Principal Jaya Bhardwaj took the salute and declared the sports meet open. The oath ceremony was followed by the DAV anthem sung by the school choir.

The students presented Ganesh Vandana, followed by a spectacular yoga and martial arts performance and three-legged race.

The people present here paid tributes to Australian cricketer late Phil Hughes by observing two-minute silence. — TNS



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